This article is written by our guest author Wivine Mbalazau.
Training as a young athlete requires dedication, hard work and has multiple benefits. However, it sometimes comes with difficulties or a few key considerations to ensure safety, progress and the best results possible from your training.
1. Benefits of Training as a Young Athlete
To begin with let’s look at the positives! Training as a young athlete will involve multiple benefits such as enhanced academic achievements, positive social behaviour, decrease in obesity and better self – discipline. It can help with your life as a young adult or a child and even improve your life outside of sport. This is because it may improve mental health, physical health and ensure a better overall lifestyle for young people. Through sport confidence levels can also increase and starting at a young age can form a healthy foundation for future development.
Moderate levels of stress can be good for your motivation and performance during athletic training. However, you should never put too much pressure on yourself. Excessive stress is never beneficial and can lead to negative consequences such as insomnia. This can also cause problems with mental health or decrease the level of athletic performance which makes young athletes more likely to abandon their sport, which is why stress prevention is very important. Some ways to prevent yourself from getting stressed as an athlete is to play a sport recreationally – Just for fun, take time to relax, this could be with family and friends and try to make your training fun whenever possible. This will avoid you becoming drained from your training and means you’re able to have a good balance from your training life and normal life.
3. Possible Injuries
Since our bodies are not perfect, as an athlete especially, injuries are very common. Factors such as poor training, use of inappropriate equipment and training too much at a high intensity make injuries more likely to occur. Minor injuries can be easy to overcome. However, there may be bigger hurdles as a consequence of injuries such as inability to play any sport for a period of time or worst – case scenario, serious damage could potentially be caused to the body. This is a reminder that you should always train properly and take care of your body to avoid injuries which may delay your training or progress as a young athlete. Listen to your body!
4. Injury Prevention
Injuries are sometimes inevitable but there are a few ways you can protect yourself as an athlete to avoid them. For example; always ensure you have a good warm up before training and competitions, stretching when necessary, having rest periods and balance your training. Things like this will ensure a healthy training life keeping you safe.
5. Long-term Training
Long Term training can be very beneficial when done correctly. This may include long – term or seasonal training programmes. You should always ensure that your training programme is realistic and suited to you so if you don’t have enough knowledge to create one there’s no shame in that. You can research, ask your coach to create one or even find one online. As a young athlete, you can progressively and systematically develop both the body and the mind to achieve long-term excellence rather than immediate success that is followed by burnout.
Training and Conditioning Young Athletes
Tudor O. Bompa and Sorin Sarandan
Header photo by Alexander Nadrilyanski